The Art of Inclusion

As an older woman, (albeit youngster in energy, passion for style, and inspiration to write meaningful and artistic stories), what does it mean to be told, “you’re dismissed now? You provide absolutely no meaningful contribution to what we are looking for — your opinion, your business skills, and creative concepts. Although I’m an avid believer in “your work speaks for itself,” and I do not like to post personal or ask for validation, the fact is kindness and compassion is so crucial in our society right now.  Even more vital? Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. This post refers to the dismissal of women, our youth, rejection, and most importantly; rising above it. It’s not about women as the “victim.” It’s about how important your contribution is.

Let’s break down the word “resilience” in terms of creative work, our youth today, and overall respect for people on the daily. Resilience is such a trendy term but in reality; it’s a vital source of success. Sometimes we need to push back and assert ourselves and other moments, we have to push ourselves harder. However, we must really look inward and outward in order to learn and change what needs some editing. The key is taking the risk.

Corey Champagne from “Seven Seconds” (Netflix)

Youth factor: Your child/teenager will always remember the adults who took the time to listen and made them feel accepted and valued on many levels. They are heard and feel respected. Raising teens is hard. Yes, it is! However, remember, it’s not always as simple as parents think for teens. (Both boys and girls). I got spoiled with my 21-year-old. He was compliant and thought “outside the box. ” The younger siblings might not be as “easy,” but their input is just as valuable, they have a voice, and offer alternative opinions. It’s a miss as a mom to not cherish differences. I also support youth that is able to turn their lives around through artistic endeavors. What many adults do not realize is how smart and capable our youth is today. There are teen filmmakers, singers, writers, and actresses.


Purely Zen Art (Boho Series)

Women: I do believe in the power of women. We are strong, creative, smart, and can call disaster 5 hours before it before it happens. Trust me, being raised in an environment where your voice was not valued or cared to hear as a woman, respect matters.  You can rise above this and empower yourself while inspiring others or you become bitter. Being bitter never works. However, let’s not let our current situation with particular men create a sense of hatred towards all. That is not a productive solution. We must find a way to have positive-oriented interactions. If we don’t, we will never advance as a society. This one is also tough after the Dr. Ford testimony. Yet she displayed courage and bravery. She is setting a new cultural change.

Work: My pitches get rejected daily (ok, weekly), but if you do persevere, there is a strong chance for greater and more opportunity through the rejection. Your soul has to be gentle and your boundaries firm. So remember that when someone tells you that you have nothing to contribute, walk away and set standards for yourself that are in alignment with you. Creativity is not easy. What is? Yet when you live and breathe it, it is a bit harder to stop. Last thought though — never, ever stop because someone said to. I believe in the power that each of us has a contribution to share. On that note, I’ve never been so grateful to the artists I’ve interviewed. You changed my outlook and set an inspiring story in motion. You have contributed and given back.

NOLA Artist and Activist Brandon Bmike Odums
Waidmann Studios. “The Journey” (The La Jolla International Film Festival)


Designer to the Stars: Bjorn Van Den BerG

Fragile Collection


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